95. Digging into Hip-Hop Scholarship w/ Professor Lavar Pope

Dan welcomes Dr. Lavar Pope from Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago to discuss the communicative power of Hip Hop music, the multilayered lineage of Hip Hop music, the role of migration and diaspora, regional Hip Hop artists and their influences, and so much more. With longtime friend of the show Dr. Danielle Lee co-hosting, this is a jam-packed episode. Read and download the full transcript of this episode at the bottom of this post.

Lavar Pope is Clinical Assistant Professor of Political Science at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, USA. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Lehigh University and a PhD in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. He has worked as a DJ, Producer, and Sound Engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys teaching courses related to urban politics, communication, and media, including a course called “Power, Rap, Music and Urban Politics.”

His book Rap and Politics: A Case Study of Panther, Gangster, and Hyphy Discourses in Oakland, CA (1965-2010) was published in 2020.

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“I began teaching a course […] called Power Rap Music in Urban America […] I think it’s a highlight of it all, right? That I can teach this to students and I can teach it to […] a majority Black [and] Brown student population that really needs to hear some of the data from this course [and] hear some of the themes from this course.”
–Lavar Pope

“Folks, after slavery […] they had these paths [of] great migration, second great migration to these different areas […] bringing different musical styles, different musical instruments sometimes […] I think about the Bay Area in particular, and […] I think about the horns in the Bay Area. [T]he horns that you hear in like the music from Vallejo, from E 40, that is something that was brought to that region through migration.”
–Lavar Pope

“I’ll say this about Gangster Rap and positionality is that we’re talking about Rap music being around for close to 50 years now, 49, I think by most estimates, right, if we look at Kool Herc’s Party kind of the beginning there, Gangster Rap really runs [the] gamut […] from the 1980s […] until like the 2000s.”
–Lavar Pope

[If someone] ever put in an E-40 tape or put in a Spice 1 tape or something like that, there’s no way that they could stand and look you in the face and tell you that that music is qualitatively different or less impactful [than] Mobb Deep or Wu-Tang or anybody on the East Coast, in my opinion.”
–Lavar Pope

Episode 93 Transcript

This episode was recorded on June 8th, 2022. The theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can follow the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher, join the newsletter for a bunch of extras (a Note From Dan, episode-specific writing prompts, and book recommendations, & follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod & Instagram @WritingRemixPod.

Some links may be affiliate links, which at no additional cost to you help to fund The Writing Remix. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

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